Hi everyone, I’m Felix Foltas (22) and I’m a 2nd Year Camera Student in Salzburg.
A lot of roads lead to film. Which one did you take?
I started out with Photography which over the years led me to Cinematography, the team involved in filmmaking was more fun than taking photographs. As early as High School I started taking Film up as a subject. Since beginning to study cinematography, I came to see even more possibilities to layer the meaning of images in a Film. It’s everything I could have imagined, it's technical as much as you’d like it to be and creative as hell. Every Project is at the core a matter of Problem solving, with endless possibilities to learn and grow.
Tell us about the rules of the Instant 36 Film Festival.
The festival takes place on a Weekend. At 10:00 AM on Saturday you are given a Theme and object, which has to appear in your film. From then on you have 36 hours till 10:00 PM on Sunday to realize your vision, according to the theme and object. It is up to you at which scale you want to realize your film may it be just you or a 20 Person Crew.
What is the hardest part?
The hardest part is to prepare yourself for every Theme, technically and conceptually. To try and guess what you might need and prep it in advance. Scout Locations, possible Characters, and styles. So when the time comes to shoot, you have all the necessary pieces to create your film from. Having a realistic idea of what can be done in this short period of time is also necessary in my opinion.
Obviously, it’s worth it, since it was not your first time joining Instant 36. What’s the fun part?
The weeks leading up to the festival, where you scout, assemble your crew, gather your actors and think of ways you can use the resources you have available, to the best of your ability. This means figuring out what locations could fit together in a narrative and what could be needed extra to make it more coherent. Figuring out your limits and working with those limitations to make something that fits together at the end. If you did your work in the preproduction you will have a blast shooting in the 36 hours you have.
Will you do it again?
I will try to find time in my schedule for the Festival in October 2022. But there is so much planned for that timeframe, and I’m not even sure if I will be in Austria. High hopes to make it fit into my calendar though.
In 2020 your movie won the first prize, in 2021 you won the audience award. Is there any advice you can give to those, who want to join the competition next year?
Find a group of motivated and talented friends, who you know of can work together without issues. Having a good team spirit and motivation is key to getting you through the ruff patches during the night. What I figured out so far is that shooting coverage really doesn’t help. Get your shot list together with the script still in progress and only plan for what you think you gonna need in the edit. Changing it up during the shoot is always easier than having shot 8 angles and then thinking of another with no time left and the AD in your back. Shooting Multicam also doesn’t help in my opinion, you sacrifice too much on possible camera placement. A Major point for Single Cam is that your lighting setups only have to be perfect for one setup at a time rather than two or even three, which cuts down on setup time. As you are not shooting coverage you only gonna shoot 2-3 angles per scene and this allows for a bit of downtime for light adjustments in between setups. Letting you maximize your control over the light. Location scouting is crucial. As I mentioned earlier already, but to drive home the point this year we had around 15 different locations on standby. In Prep we grouped locations together to get matching theme/mood packages. So when the time comes to work on your film you already have a selection of matching places where you can shoot your story. Finally but also most importantly, have fun!
Honestly: How important is good equipment in a challenge like this?
Reliable and good equipment is essential. Every minute counts, especially in this case, if you lose 15 minutes due to a technical error, those 15min are gonna be missing in the post later. Working through the night, flow is extremely important, everyone's ready to shoot and then this one piece of gear does not work correctly and you have to say “hold for Camera”. That right there just cost you a bit of motivation, if this happens again and again you are in trouble. Good equipment can help you keep that flow going as long as possible, making it more fun for everyone involved.
Would you give us one sentence about our products that we may quote?
I didn’t have to lose one thought over the CLR working, set it and forget it. Reliable in every condition we put it through.
DC-GO, perfect for Directors, just hand them the monitor and they are happy.